Padua is a city in the Italian region of Veneto, the capital of which is Venice. Padua is oftentimes grouped together with Venice as the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area. The combined population of the two towns is around 1.5 million people. Padua travel is popular not only because of the beauty of the city itself, but also because of its general proximity to Venice and the other popular destinations in the Veneto. This is by far the most popular region in Italy for tourists, receiving some 60 million visitors each and every year. There are a variety of things to do in Padua Italy, not the least popular of which is to simply stroll the arcaded streets along the Bacchiglione River. Padua is located about 25 miles west of Venice.


Some of the most alluring Padua attractions are its natural landmarks. The gorgeous Brenta River is just north of the city, and to the west are the legendary Euganeaean Hills, which have been written about by the likes of Shelley and Petrarch. As you embark upon your Padua travel, you will hear tales of the city being the oldest in all of northern Italy. Italian legend and references in Virgil’s Aeneid suggest that Padua was founded in 1183 BC by a Trojan prince named Antenor. Today, it is a very popular tourist destination in Veneto. Many people take advantage of the opportunity to visit many of the cities in northern Italy while on their trip, including Venice, Milan, Torino, and Genova.

Padua Italy Giotto
Padua Italy Giotto  Image: Carla216 (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0

Many of the best things to do in Padua Italy involve exploring the city, which is full of beautiful and historic landmarks and sites. The Scrovegni Chapel is arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Padua. It contains an impressive and well-preserved series of frescoes by the artist Giotto completed in the year 1305. If you enjoy visiting breathtaking churches and cathedrals when you visit the old cities in Europe, then you will certainly want to set aside time to visit the Basilica di Sant’Antonio da Padova, known to the residents of Padua simply as Il Santo. The very remains of Saint Anthony are enshrined in a chapel that is amazingly decorated with jewels, carved marble, and pieces of art by artists such as Sansovino. Construction of this impressive basilica began in 1230 and took nearly a full century to complete. As you are planning your Padua travel, consider putting the Basilica of Saint Anthony near the top of your list of places to see.

The Palazzo della Ragione is a great hall, thought to be the largest in Europe unsupported by columns. Fresco after fresco line the walls of this great building with its many arches and intricate design. Other notable attractions include the Basilica of Saint Giustina, the Church of the Eremitani, Donatello’s statue of the Venetian general Erasmo da Narni.

There are many other things to do in Padua Italy besides leisurely strolling down the beautiful streets, taking in the sights and sounds, occasionally stopping for a bite to eat or a glass of wine. But the, who would want to do anything else, especially when you are in such a picturesque city. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, and hotels to suit just about any traveler headed to this gorgeous part of northern Italy.

Top image: Mr Allan Parsons (flickr)
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